Review by Harry Kaplan
Seeing Scott live is like going to church. It is only fitting that The Southgate House Revival is in The Grace Methodist Episcopal Church built in 1866. Scott, of course was on stage in the main sanctuary giving us all of his Sunday learning. I know it was a Friday night, but it was a great service, nonetheless. To see Scott Biram live is the only way to properly explain the way he plays and how much sound he makes for one person. Well, that is why he is the self described “The Dirty Old One Man Band”. It really is a religious experience.
Off stage, Scott is a very down to earth, friendly, and approachable fella. On stage, Scott channels the soul of a 70 year old delta blues man. It is a little bit frightening how much Scott acts and sounds like the country blues troubadours of yesteryear. Right down to the dialect and the music, for sure. This isn’t shtick either, or a gimmick. Scott is a genuine student of the blues and other forms of American music. He has forgotten more about the blues than I will ever know.
Although most every song is blues infused to a certain degree, Scott adds country, bluegrass, punk, and metal to his songs and his performances. He has a board attached to a mic that operates as a foot powered drum. There is no shortage of beautiful noise when Biram is playing. He also has a great time with some “in between song” banter with the audience.
As previously mentioned, Scott is first and foremost a bluesman, but he can also mix it up quite well with the punk and metal. Here is a link to Biram’s video for the song “Trainwrecker” featured on his latest album The Bad Testament on mighty Bloodshot Records. It is blues underneath, but that song is pure thrash and pure terror. A beautiful song, indeed. I digress.
Back to the performance: Scott tore the roof off that mutha for about an hour and a half. His sets are very well balanced with some new songs, old favorites, and a good bunch of obscure, well researched, cover songs from artists such as Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Doc Watson, and Woody Guthrie. That is diversity at its best.
Once Mr. Biram starts playing, he really does transform himself into a “take no prisoners” performer that plays hard as hell and says whatever comes to his mind. As Scott stated to eloquently and profoundly, “I make this shit up as I go.” To watch him play and then hear the full sound is nothing short of effin impressive! If he brings his one man band to your town, or even close to your town, go see him. No excuses, get a baby sitter. See him!
Scott H. Biram’s website